The Pnyx, as seen from the Acropolis. The Pnyx was the meeting place of the Athenian democratic assembly (Ekklesia). In the earliest phase (called Pnyx I, probably the early 5th century B.C.), people sat on the natural slope of the hill, facing a speaker's platform (Bema) on the north (to the right in this photo). In the next phase (Pnyx II, probably 403 B.C.), the positions of the speaker and the people were reversed: a retaining wall in the north was built to support an artificial embankment sloping down to the south. The speaker's platform was moved to the south, and the people sat with their backs to the north (and the Agora and their homes). In the third phase (Pnyx III, probably in the 330's B.C.), the area was made even bigger. A truly massive retaining wall was built on the north, and the bedrock of the hillside of was cut back on the south to create a speaker's platform and two vertical scarps. Most of what we see today is from Pnyx III. View from the east.